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External Hard Drive for Dish ViP211k


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I'm looking to add an external hard drive to my satellite receiver so that I can record programs.  I don't really need a Hopper nor do I want to pay a monthly fee for one since I only want to record one program that comes on at the same time as another program I want to watch.  I have a dish on the house and a Trav'ler on the RV.

According to this site, I need an external hard drive with the following requirements:

  1. 50GB to 2TB capacity
  2. Must have its own power supply
  3. USB 2.0 compatible
  4. It must have a single hard drive, not a flash memory

I've been going cross-eyed looking at external hard drives.  Most of them I've found are powered by the USB cable, so those are out.  I've found this one that says the power source is AC.  What I'm confused about is the connectivity technology is "wired" as opposed to "usb," yet it mentions 3.0 USB.  What does "wired" mean?

Will this external hard drive work?  Are there other hard drives I should be looking at?

Thanks for your help.

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Your single sat tuner 211K will only let you record and/or watch one sat program at a time. You can however, record or watch one sat program while recording or watching an OTA program. Or record one sat and one OTA program while watching a recorded program. I used a Western Digital "MyBook" 2TB external drive with our 211K. We've since upgraded to a 3 tuner Hopper w/Sling, and are considering a 16 tuner Hopper 3 for our next step up.

I didn't see any mention of an external power supply for the Fantom drive you linked to. Dish does not recommend using a USB powered drive, although many folks have found them to work ok.

Edited by Dutch_12078
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I've been using 2 WD 500G external hard drives, one on each of 2 of my 3 VIP 211k receivers. Both are powered by an AC power source, both work great. I paid $75 for one (in 2015) and $50 for the other (in early 2016) off Amazon. Make sure the WD Hard drive has plenty of air flow around it, since they tend to heat up and will malfunction if hot during recording or playback, but if adequately  cooled they have worked fine. The Dish setup fee is a one time deal and additional hard drives do not have an additional fee.

Edited by teacher's pet
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3 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Your single sat tuner 211K will only let you record and/or watch one sat program at a time. You can however, record or watch one sat program while recording or watching an OTA program. Or record one sat and one OTA program while watching a recorded program. I used a Western Digital "MyBook" 2TB external drive with our 211K. We've since upgraded to a 3 tuner Hopper w/Sling, and are considering a 16 tuner Hopper 3 for our next step up.

I didn't see any mention of an external power supply for the Fantom drive you linked to. Dish does not recommend using a USB powered drive, although many folks have found them to work ok.

OK, so I can't record one program while I'm watching another with the 211k and an external hard drive.  Do I understand that correctly?  

If this is true, then it won't work at home since we have no way of viewing OTA TV, unless we were to spend the money to have an external antenna installed on our house.

We do, of course have an OTA antenna on the RV, but we're not always in an area where OTA is available.  Plus, we have a management system (the device with all the buttons...I'm sure there's a name for it) that requires you to push a button depending on whether or not you want to watch satellite or OTA.  If I set it up so I can watch OTA, would the external hard drive still record from the satellite receiver?

The power source for the hard drive I linked to is down near the bottom of the page in a grid with specifications.  It says "AC," so I assume that means it comes with a power cable.

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Yes, you understand correctly that you cannot record one program while watching another program unless it has been previously recorded. Your "BOMB" (Box Of Many Buttons) does not control the satellite dish connection to the receiver, just the destination of the output. It also controls the switching of the OTA/cable connections, so yes, the 211K will still record sat programming while you're watching an OTA program, either via the 211K or fed directly to the TV. RV park cable systems will only be usable with the 211K if they're digital signals and don't require a cable box. The common analog cable services will not work with a 211K, but can be fed directly to the TV for viewing. As Mark and Dale said, a dual tuner receiver like the 612 would be a better choice since it will record one channel while watching another. If you have one of the portable automatic aimed "dome" style dishes (Tailgater, etc), both programs have to be coming from the same satellite though.

As long as the Fantom has the external power source, then it should work. I have no experience with that brand though, so I have no idea of the reliability record.

Edited by Dutch_12078
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So what about a Hopper?

In looking at Dish's website, it looks like the Hopper 1 would work for us since we don't need to search across Netflix, DVR, and OnDemand, nor do we need built in Netflix.

Would anything have to be done to the Trav'ler in order to use it in the RV, or can I just take it from the house and set it up in the RV like I currently do with our 211k?

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The Hopper 1 is terrible since Dish forced the new "Carbon" user interface on the pre-Hopper 3 Hoppers. The slower processor and limited memory are working well to force people to upgrade to at least a Hopper 2 (Hopper with Sling), if not a Hopper 3. With the new CUI, the Hopper 1 is quite slow to retract to the controls, with long delays between page changes and channel changes. The Hopper 2 is significantly better, although still not u to Hopper 3 standards. Your existing or another Hopper will work ok with your Trav'ler, although if you have a Hopper 3, there's a new electronic switch (Dish DPH42) that would need to be added for the H3's hybrid compatibility along with a Hybrid Solo Hub. A Hopper with Sling (H2) will work fine with your Trav'ler, with just the addition of a Solo Node.

Edited by Dutch_12078
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Terrible is a relative thing.  For a person who never had a Hopper, the Carbon CUI Interface may well be okay.  Kind of like telling a person running Windows 8 on a Windows 98 PC to a person learning to use a PC for the first time.  Is it slow?

Hoppers are good choices, any model, but they do incur a Hopper DVR Service fee that a VIP612/622/722 would not.

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5 hours ago, LindaH said:

In looking at Dish's website, it looks like the Hopper 1 would work for us since we don't need to search across Netflix, DVR, and OnDemand, nor do we need built in Netflix.

I think there's no difference in the monthly price between the Hopper 1, 2, and 3 -- though there may be an "upgrade fee" difference.

That said, you'll be much better served with a Hopper 3. It's faster than the other two Hopper versions (I've owned all three) + as Dutch said, some folks on Satelliteguys.us have been reporting issues with the older Hoppers when they were updated to the Hopper 3's "Carbon" interface.

With a Hopper 3, you'll probably never have an issue with recording whatever you want. With a Hopper 1 or 2, it could be an issue.

 

5 hours ago, LindaH said:

Would anything have to be done to the Trav'ler in order to use it in the RV, or can I just take it from the house and set it up in the RV like I currently do with our 211k?

  • For a Hopper 1 or Hopper 2 -- you can "get away" with running just one coax (besides the Travler control cord) from the Travler into your RV.
  • For a Hopper 3 -- you should run all three coax (+ the Travler control cord) from the Travler into your RV.

However, what's very cool (and efficient) about using a Hopper 3 . . . if you have to use a portable tripod because, for example, you're parked under trees, you can set up that portable dish so you only need to run one coax from the tripod to your RV.

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I'm leaning toward the ViP612 rather than a Hopper of any flavor.  For one thing, I'm loath to pay a monthly fee for it and we'd have to pay someone to add cables, or whatever, to the Trav'ler, which would be an additional cost.

My purpose in even looking for a DVR in the first place (since we've lived for years without one) is so that, during the new season starting later this month, I can record ONE program that comes on at the same time as another program.  I may, on occasion, record something else, but this is my main purpose in looking for some way to record and watch at the same time.  Thus my reluctance to go with a Hopper and the additional cost it would entail.

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I've looked at the Installation Guide for the 612, and see a problem.  Apparently, the receiver requires two "satellite in" cables to be attached to the back...we only have one, both in our house and in our RV.  

Guess I'm back looking at adding a hard drive to our 211k.  Not ideal, because while we're in the RV we don't always have OTA, but it is what it is.

Edited by LindaH
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There is a separator Dish Separator that takes a single coax from a DPP 1000.2 Dish and splits the two muxed signals on the coax into the two input ports of the VIP 612.  The Trav'ler is a DPP 1000.2 dish.

The Separator looks like a splitter but it is a unique electronic device.  I initially used the Dish Separator back when we first went on the road with a VIP 622 DVR.

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